Bulgaria has taken an important step in the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
According to Dnevnik, the country’s Communications Regulation Council (CRC) has unveiled plans for two DTT tenders that will run simultaneously.
The winner of the first licence will secure the right to operate a multiplex in six cities, including Sofia, until this December, with coverage being extended to 95% of the population by 2012.
The winner of the second multiplex will meanwhile be required to launch a multiplex covering seven cities, again including Sofia, by July 2011 and to reach 95% of the population by 2015.
The plans have been criticised by TV companies, which maintain that the operators of the digital networks will have a monopoly position in the market.
Crucially, the incumbent telco BTC, considered by many to be the likeliest winner of a multiplex licence, has decided not to take part in the tenders following the suspension of the sale of its transitions network NURTS to Austria’s ORS.